I have been having a rough week! When I say rough, I mean disaster area type stuff.
I have eaten, and eaten until I was overly full
, and then eaten some more! I have not done that in several months. I have probably gained 2 pounds this week (will know the damage Wednesday afternoon at weigh in), but more importantly I feel bloated and sluggish. This has ended up affecting my dog Sparky
, because instead of our regular 2-3 mile walks, he's been getting jipped with measly 1 mile walks. He definitely doesn't deserve that... if I won't turn things around for me, I at least need to turn things around for him.
So my girl Susan and I were talking about how lately I've been eating like 272-pound-Stephanie. This means 3000+ calories a day in some cases. Other days maybe 2400, but far more food than I (or anyone for that matter) needs. For a brief second I thought to myself, 272-pound-Stephanie had it GOOD. I mean she could eat whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted. She never EVER worried about how many calories were in something or "if she should eat that". She didn't have to worry about finding time to exercise because she didn't exercise. But then I thought there was a lot more that 272-pound-Stephanie had to deal with that I was blocking out. I was forgetting about all of those things. So Susan suggested that I have a quick chat with 272-pound-Stephanie, make a list, and then send her on her way. No offense to her but I don't want her sticking around.
So of course I started off asking her how great it was to be able to eat whatever, whenever with 0 consequences. This was her response:
"Food is great! I eat almost nothing other than fast food and I love eating chicken strips, burgers, and french fries all the time."
I couldn't lie, she had me intrigued... not worrying about food or calories ever? How great is that? She saw the twinkle in my eye, and just as I responded "That sounds great!" She cut me off right there and she gave it to me straight!
"You aren't seeing the big picture. Eating whatever, whenever is the ONLY redeeming quality about the way I am living, and to be honest that is what is causing me the most damage. It is physically exhausting carrying around all this weight. I get winded walking up the 7 stairs to my bedroom. Tying my shoes is a struggle, doing the dishes hurts my knees and my back from all the standing. I can't walk through Target without breaking into a sweat. Each night before I go to bed, and I struggle to turn over, I say to myself I wish I could find the strength to lose this weight. The extra weight sits on my chest, and sometimes it is uncomfortable even just laying down. Having to buy bigger and bigger clothes because I am growing out of them makes me feel even more defeated. So trust me when I tell you, all of that food comes with a lot of consequences."
I immediately remembered how all of those things felt. I chose to block out all of the negative things and focused on the 1 thing that I thought was fun (back then). I had already learned my lesson but before 272-pound-Stephanie left, she let me know all of the things that she was jealous of... and reminded me to be thankful for what I have, and that I need to FIGHT to keep it.
"You do many many things I wish I could do. You can walk up and down the stairs with ease, doing dishes is no big deal for you. You can walk your dog Sparky 3 miles and I can not even walk him to the corner. The physical and emotional exhaustion that comes from carrying this weight is no longer a burden for you. You also have grown much more confident not only in your ability to lose the weight, but in life in general. You do not want to go back to where you were, so stop eating like you want that life back. We both know that it's not the life you want and it is not a place you want to return to. Keep your head up, dust yourself off, and work on getting deeper into Onederland!"
Okay okay, so that might have been a silly way to approach things, I didn't actually have this conversation with myself... but seeing the huge difference between the way I used to live and the way I live now made me realize just how far I have come. I will never forget what it was like to be so far overweight, but sometimes if we don't tap into that part of ourselves and give ourselves a gentle reminder, we can let that part slip away. We have to remember it is worth it and we have to continue to fight for what we want. We didn't set out on this journey because we didn't want to change something, and sometimes we have to go back to the very beginning and get in touch with why we are doing this.
So whether I have a 1-3 pound gain at weigh in, I will take that number, and I will do the work to get the weight off, and to keep doing the work to get to my goal weight. THEN I'm going to do the work, for a lifetime to KEEP the healthier body that I have worked so hard to get. This is going to be a lifetime struggle, but I don't mind struggling to keep something that I truly want.